It is a déjà vu for Pointers football as they are 2-0 for a second straight year going into a match up against fifth ranked North Central College this Saturday.
Last season, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point football team traveled to North Central at 2-0, but lost 27-7. This year, the Pointers host the Cardinals of North Central in the annual Pink Game and homecoming game at Goerke Park. For the Pink Game, UWSP will wear alternate uniforms in honor of breast cancer awareness.
UWSP will be looking for a third straight win under third year head coach Tom Journell, which has not happened since 2008. The Pointers story has been the high scoring offense. In the first two games the offense has scored a total of 79 points.
The offense is currently ranked second in scoring for the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
The offense is led by sophomore quarterback Kyle Larson who has thrown for 522 yards and 4 touchdowns, and leads the WIAC in passing yards per game with 261. Larson found junior wide receiver Matt Sosinsky for two of the four
touchdowns, and Sosinsky currently leads the WIAC in receiving yards per game with 123.
The running game has also done well with all three running backs in the WIAC top ten rushing chart. At Coe College, freshman Christian Almonte had a big day with 113 yards on five carries for three touchdowns. Senior Jake Menzel ran for 75 yards at Coe, while junior De’Juan Wright had 90 yards against Albion.
North Central will be no easy task for the Pointers. The Cardinals rank fifth under head coach John Thorne, who is in year 13 at North Central and has a career record of 112-28. At 2-0, the Cardinals have beat St. Norbert College 51-17, and seventh ranked UW-Platteville 28-7. The Cardinals have done most of their damage offensively running the football as they average 258.5 yards per game. Senior Ryan Kent leads the rushing attack with 275 yards on 37 carries with three touchdowns.
The play of the defenses will be key for both teams. Each defense ranks in the top 25 for turnovers as North Central has six, while UWSP has four. Defensively, UWSP has had a slow start in the first half, giving up 17 points against Albion, and 21 against Coe. However, in the second half of those games, the defense gave up a total of 14 points. Senior safety Zach Vallfskey and junior linebacker John Kontowicz are tied for the lead in tackles per game in the WIAC with 10.5 each.
Saturday will be another test for UWSP this season, but with a potent offense the Pointers have potential to upset the seventh ranked Cardinals.